Tonight is the night!
The 2010-2011 kicks off with a game in Kanata versus the Sabres blood rival: the Ottawa Senators.
What better way to start the season then a game against a truly despised enemy, eh?
Can game 1 of 82 be a vitally important game? Absolutely!
Why? The Senators have handed the Sabres their lunch, breakfast, and dinner since the Sabres punked them and shocked the world in the 2006 playoffs.
It’s been near total domination even when the Sens game was in the crapper.
How do you make Brian Elliott and Pascal Leclaire look like the second coming?
Have a hockey player with a Buffalo sweater shoot at them!
This year is different. Yes, feel free to shudder at that phrase as you have heard it each of the prior 2 years. It very well could be. Gone are Tony ‘Chainsaw’ Lydman and Henrik Tallinder.
In their place is Shaone Morrisonn and Jordan Leopold. Upgrade, upgrade? Yes, yes.
Gone are Tim Kennedy and Adam Mair. Demoted is Matt Ellis.
The kids of the future, Luke Adam and Zack Kassian, impressed in camp (as did some of the young D on the come) but they have been shuttled back for more seasoning like a tenderloin still needing to bake.
Welcome to the bigs Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis! Let’s see your moves kids.
The welcome mat has been laid out for Rob Niedermayer as the teams glue like 3rd line shutdown center.
A 3rd line of Ennis-Niedermayer-Grier has the Sabres brass dreaming of Roy-Drury-Grier circa 05-06.
Cody McCormick is back and in the show to provide brash and crash, and toss the knuckles.
Chris Neil and Jerko Ruutu will be rudely introduced to Cody at 7:30 tonight.
The team has looked fast the entire pre-season. The nitro boost has been reintroduced back into the Buffalo stampede.
Gone is the slug from the jersey crest (adios!) and back is the classic Sabres sweater.
Your 2010-2011 Sabres:
Vanek, Roy, Stafford, Hecht, Connolly, Pommer, Ennis, Gerbe, Grier, Niedermayer, Gaustad, McCormick, and Kaleta.
Myers, Morrisonn, Montador, Leopold, Rivet, Weber, Butler, and Sekera
Miller and Lalime
As every website between here and Rancho Cucamonga has a season preview of some kind regarding the Sabres breaking down the Defense (solid B with a tower of power in Myers), Goaltending (obvious A with a backup that better be above the C Lalime was last season), Offense (deeper and a solid B with another Tyler (Ennis) the rookie to watch), and special teams (PK, yes, PP, el stinko!), I thought I would open the season with a little something written from the perspective of Sabres fans.
They of the nation of perpetual angst. For your enjoyment:
I am part of Sabre nation, as I live and breathe,
but please for the love of Darcy, when will I ever get a cup reprieve?
Every year is full of hope, but it feels like we are being dangled a Lord Stanley carrot on a rope.
Larry Quinn is the fans nemesis, we endorse cutting him out of decision making, of this we insist.
No more talk about the salary cap or the system, or power play woes that continue to confound,
instead bury the opposition under a flurry of hits as an avalanche of goals abound.
For the love of Barry Melrose’s mullet and the garish suits of Don Cherry,
may the opposition once again think the speed and skill of this team is scary.
No more fright will this team cause as in Ryan Miller we trust,
the season is not Stanley Cup or bust,
but if there is no sipping champagne from the silver chalice,
then for the ownership, Darcy, and Lindy, it’s pow, to the moon Alice!
All that Sabre nation wants is a parade throughout the city to embrace,
and help erase all the memories of past seasons disgrace.
Ah, what lofty thoughts these are, almost dreams,
until reality strikes coldly, seeing Gary Bettman deem,
another team champion, and yet one more season ending in sadness,
turning one more summer into unending madness.
But no matter the degree of heart ache or level of agita the team gives us, remember still,
at least it’s better than having to watch the Bills?
Lines for tonight:
Gerbe the odd man out but he could be in the lineup for the Rangers tomorrow night.
Myers – Morrisonn
Montador – Leopold
Rivet – Sekera
Sitting are Weber and Butler although Lindy could pull a last minute switch.
The first power play unit in practice was Roy, Ennis, & Stafford with Pominville and Myers at the points.
The 2nd unit in practice was Vanek, Connolly, & Gaustad with Leopold and Sekera manning the points.
About the Author
Written by William Brouillette